NFL Health Update: GE, Hospital for Special Surgery begin brain study

NFL HEALTH UPDATE -- JUNE 25, 2014

NFL, GE AND HOSPITAL FOR SPECIAL SURGERY BEGIN CONCUSSION STUDY

As part of the Head Health Initiative -- a four-year, $60 million collaboration to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for traumatic brain injury -- the NFL, GE and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) are collaborating on a study led by Dr. Teena Shetty, a neurologist at HSS. Dr. Shetty also served as a neurological consultant at Giants games during the 2013 season.

The research takes a whole brain approach to determine the key Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) biomarkers for potential diagnosis, outcome prediction, and therapy management for patients who have experienced traumatic brain injury.

The availability of a tool like MRI to help both diagnose and establish better prognosis for concussions could help treat and manage the injury, as well as assisting with return to play decisions.

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DARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAMS VISITS SEAHAWKS MINICAMP

Coaches and players from Darrington High School recently visited the Seattle Seahawks minicamp at the team's Renton, Washington, practice facility. This is the second time the Seahawks have reached out to the Darrington community. Earlier this spring, nine days after a mudslide devastated the community, several Seattle players traveled to Darrington, along with members of the Seattle Sounders soccer team.

After practice, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, linebacker Bobby Wagner, wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice and offensive tackle Russell Okung spent time with the Darrington players and coaches, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Darrington quarterback Trent Green reflected on the visit. "Just being around these guys ... it's a crazy feeling. I can't even explain it right now. But it's pretty cool to see all of them and be this close to them."

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PACKERS HOST YOUTH FOOTBALL COACHING SCHOOL

The Green Bay Packers hosted a free youth football coaching school earlier this month. The event featured classroom sessions and football drills in the Don Hutson Center, the Packers practice facility.

More than 200 youth football coaches learned about USA Football's Heads Up Football program. A USA Football master trainer taught Heads Up Tackling in the Hutson Center. Coaches were also offered instruction from top local high school and youth football coaches. Packers assistant strength and conditioning coach Thadeus Jackson and USA Football's Mike Cuzzone both addressed the group, and participants had the opportunity to win equipment grants from both the Packers and USA Football.

COACH KEN WHISENHUNT AND TITANS PLAYERS TAKE PART IN TEAM's 16TH ANNUAL CARAVAN

Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, 13 current Titans players and team staff recently traveled through Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama on a bus tour for the Academy Sports + Outdoors Caravan.

The 16th annual offseason journey included 16 stops over a six-day span. Whisenhunt and Titans players spent time interacting with thousands of Titans fans throughout the week.

The Titans' Caravan began in 1998 as a small effort to spread goodwill through the region. Since its inception, the Caravan has made more than 800 stops and allowed the team to visit with more than 150,000 fans.

BALTIMORE RAVENS HOST YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYERS AT ANNUAL YOUTH FOOTBALL CLINIC

Ravens coaches and staff hosted a clinic for more than 300 youth football players from Harford County at the Fallston Recreation Complex earlier this month.

The clinic, sponsored by Under Armour, afforded youths the opportunity to receive hands-on instruction from Ravens coaches and personnel staff. Linebackers coach Ted Monachino led kids through a series of age-appropriate offensive and defensive skill sets. USA Football Master Trainer Tom LaNeve assisted the coaches in group sessions throughout the clinic.

Ravens head team physician Dr. Andrew Tucker educated the student-athletes and their parents about concussion awareness, and members of the MedStar Sports Medicine team were in attendance to distribute further information regarding concussion prevention, symptoms and treatment.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR HONORS CHARGERS

The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar recently held a special Evening Colors Ceremony in honor of the San Diego Chargers. Prior to the ceremony, the entire organization was invited to test their skills on flight simulators and tour aircrafts, including an F/A 18 Hornet, MV-22 Osprey, KC-130 Hercules and CH-53E Sea Stallion, and T-34C.

The highlight of the night was a ceremony honoring the Chargers' commitment to the armed forces in front of 5,000 marines. President Dean Spanos and coach Mike McCoy each spoke at the event.

"This is very special because these are men and women who do incredible things for our country," Spanos said. "Everything we get to do today wouldn't be possible without them. We can never do enough to thank them, and we all feel very fortunate to do whatever we can for them."

VINCENT JACKSON AND BUCCANEERS LAUNCH BOOK SERIES AT "YOUTH IN ACTION" CAMP

The Jackson In Action 83 Foundation and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers recently hosted the second annual "Youth in Action" Camp for nearly 80 children who are members of military families. Hosted at the team's practice facility, the one-day camp included games and activities on the practice fields, lunch in the team dining room, and encouraging words from Pro Bowl wide receiver Vincent Jackson about the challenges of growing up in a military household.

To kick off the camp, the foundation announced the publication of a new children's book authored by Jackson and his wife, Lindsey, a former elementary school teacher. The book was produced in partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and published by Mascot Books. Titled "Danny Dogtags: Dealing with Deployment," the book is the first in a planned series of three books, designed to help military families discuss issues surrounding the deployment of a parent. All proceeds from the book sales benefit the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation, which supports military families who serve both at home and abroad.

"I've known it firsthand, with my dad being gone for a few months, and it's very hard for a young kid to understand exactly why that has to happen, and especially to understand the danger they are in," Jackson said. "It's tough to do, so we try to bring some positivity to it and get these kids continuing to have positive role models around them, give them support, and mentor them to do great things when their parents may be deployed so the family structure stays intact."

To learn more, click here.

-- NFL Communications

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